February 2013 – B
In the morning of last Friday, January 14th, a meteorite that, when entering earth’s atmosphere was approximately 17 meters in length and 7,000-10,000 tons of weight, exploded in the skies of the Russian region of Chelyabinsk, near the Ural Mountains. It is claimed to be the largest object to hit the earth in a century, leaving 1,200 people injured after releasing 500 kilotons of energy. This event is not related subsequent to the flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14 that flew approximately 20,000 km from earth that night.
A judge in Sydney ruled in favour of Myriad Genetics for the ownership of a patent that claims the sequence of the human gene BRCA1 and some of its mutations. Mutations of BRCA1 are known to be related to breast cancer, although it is also involved in other types of cancer. Nevertheless, Myriad Genetics holds the right to perform genetic testing on it, hampering research related to BRCA1 and heightening prices. The company filed a patent with claims that mention the human gene BRCA2 as well. A similar case is waiting for a hearing at the US Supreme Court that is expected to take place this year.
Through triclosan-induced genome evolution, researchers from the Sun Yat-Sen University generated an antibiotic marker and plasmid-free E. coli strain that overproduces lycopene. Researchers claim this might be the first time that an organism is metabolically engineered to have such traits.